Over the past 50 years, it has become apparent how human actions a tool on the ocean faster than ever thought before. We have witnessed how human beings have contributed to greenhouse gas emissions, marine pollutions, coral bleaching, illegal activities and overfishing. As such, it is all the more important that global issues must be addressed with global solutions. Failure to act upon their protection now is a failure to protect the future generations. Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab-Rahaman emphasised on the matters at the Opening of the 14th International School Brunei Borneo Global Issues Conference, ISB-BGIC, yesterday morning. Her Royal Highness in her sabda believes that forums like ISB-BGIC conference will encourage bright young leaders to start taking early ownership of the issues that will affect them and their future, and more importantly, take ownership of the issues together.
Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness who is the Royal Patron of ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference was greeted by Awang Haji Ahmad bin Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa, Chairman of ISB Board of Directors. Her Royal Highness then signed a parchment and presented certificates to schools participating in this year's conference.
Doctor Steven Geragthy, the Executive Principal of ISB in his keynote address touched on this year's conference theme 'Life Below Water'. He said the theme is particularly salient as warming seas are reported to be harming corals ans the issue of plastics pollution takes up an increasingly significant part of the sustainability debate.
The ceremony was enlivened with musical performance. Also taking part in the performance was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince's son, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Muntaqim.
Two invited speakers, Anna Oposa, the Co-founder and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippines Seas, SPS, a movement to protect Philippines's coastal and marine resources through information, communication and education campaigns and community-based projects; and Danni Washington co-founded the Big Blue & You, shared their views in tackling global environment issues.
This year's conference carries the theme of 'Life Below Water'. Her Royal Highness in her sabda said everybody needs to heed scientific warnings of climate change and realize that the ocean regulates the global eco-system by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to protect coastal areas from erosion and flooding.
Her Royal Highness in her sabda added that His Majesty's government has made concerted efforts to protect the country's maritime environment with initiatives like - Marine Protected Areas to conserve the coral reef eco-system and fisheries productivity; being one of the first Asian country in banning the sale and import of all shark fin products; and the opening of the Marine Biodiversity Centre to rehabilitate and treat any maritime life that is caught or discovered. Her Royal Highness went on to say that education campaigns regarding waste disposal have also been going strong for decades.
Her Royal Highness then handed over mementos to guest speakers, sponsors and supporters of the conference.
Her Royal Highness received a book entitled 'The Seashore Life of Brunei' and Pasambah. Almost 300 secondary students from over 20 local and international schools across the country attended the four-day conference. The conference serves as a platform and forum to promote youth leadership, networking and global citizenship to support the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.
Source: Radio Television Brunei